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One hundred million yen toilet

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Roadside rest areas in Japan

There are many rest areas or service stations along the highways in Japan. They are also known as Michi no Eki in Japanese.

They provide places for drivers and passengers to take rest, and also promote local goods and tourism. There is a growing competition among the rest areas to provide more unique services and goods, on top of the souvenirs and local cuisine and convenience stores. This has led to some interesting developments.

Imoto sensei, a professional Japanese teacher at JOI, introduces one of these unique places. Read this Japanese learner's blog and watch the amazing photographs in the video to find out more !

One hundred million yen toilet



 One hundred million yen toilet




lobby of the toilet


powder room


pictures of flowers


To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 




トイレに入(はい)ると、大(おお)きな窓(など)ガラスがあり、小(ちい)さな 日本(にほん)庭園(ていえん)眺(なが)めることができます。パウダールームも、まるで高級(こうきゅう)ホテルのようです。



One hundred million yen toilet

In a place called Tagawa district in Fukuoka prefecture, there is the highest class of roadside rest area in western Japan. And this roadside rest area is well-known for its “one hundred million yen toilet”. True to its name, this toilet cost one hundred million yen to make. The place is not too far from my hometown so I went to scout it out.

In the lobby of the toilet is an automatic playing grand piano. Unfortunately, on that day I could not hear its performance. When you enter the toilet, there is a large window out of which you can look upon a small Japanese garden. The powder room feels like a room in a luxury hotel.

Each of the cubicles are decorated with different pictures of flowers. And these pictures are made from earthenware. And the pictures on the doors of each cubicle use the same flower motif as the pictures of the flowers in the rooms. It feels just like an art gallery. I was curious about which flower pictures were decorated in which cubicle so I went into and viewed all the rooms.

Of course any one can use this graceful toilet freely. You don't even need to give any tips. If you are ever in the area, please go and see this “one hundred million yen toilet”.

一億円(いちおくえん a hundred million yen

福岡県(ふくおかけん)田川郡(たがわぐん) Tagawa district, Fukuoka prefecture (Kyushu)

西日本(にしにほん) Western Japan

最大級(さいだいきゅう) largest class

道(みち)の駅(えき) roadside rest area

その名(な)の通(とお)り as its name suggests

偵察(ていさつ)する to scout

自動(じどう)演奏(えんそう) automatic playing

日本(にほん)庭園(ていえん) Japanese garden

眺(なが)める to look, to view

高級(こうきゅう)ホテル luxury hotel

個室(こしつ) (restroom) stall

飾(かざ)る to display, to decorate


モチーフ motif

優美(ゆうび)な graceful

お越(こ)しの際(さい)は when you come

足(あし)を運(はこ)ぶ to go


Mina sama Konnichiwa ! My name is Rie Imoto. I live in Nara city with my husband and daughter. Nara city is the oldest capital of Japan and there still a lot of nature remaining from the old days.

I love photography, and always walk with my camera and enjoy taking pictures of flowers, the sky, mountains, and nature. I also like running. I often run around my neighborhood. I sometimes participate in marathons. When I run, it refreshes both my mind and body and I can spend the time energetically.

When I was a child, I was very interested in foreign cultures and so, because it was in the age before the Internet, I used to enjoy exchanging letters with many people from different countries. I am so glad that we can connect with people all over the world now using the Internet. I am really looking forward to teaching you Japanese and to hear about your stories in Japanese. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Start 3 Trial FlexLessons for only $9 !

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Guest Sunday, 18 March 2018